Musing Mondays: Library time

musing_mondays Last Monday of February! Here’s this week’s question:

How often do you visit the library? Do you have a scheduled library day/time, or do you go whenever? Do you go alone, or take people with you?

You’ll hardly ever find me in a library — for a variety of reasons! But first let me state firmly that I have absolutely nothing against libraries. Libraries are great. They’re an excellent resource for students and readers of all ages, and it’s awesome we have an organized system in place to spread knowledge and entertainment to the masses. For free!

But libraries aren’t for me. Our local library in my hometown really doesn’t have much to look at, and it’s old and I just . . . don’t like it. It’s not inviting. I do like the library in another part of the county, but I don’t usually feel like driving all the way over there to check out some books. Plus, I just like to own my books — I like knowing they’re mine. Even if I’ve Mooched them or gotten them as ARCs, they’re still here in my hot little hands — and all mine! I don’t have to worry about how long I have to read them, and when they’re due back. Although, when I think about it, having deadlines like that might help me sift through some of the books I keep in stacks for far too long, continuously picking up the newest books I bring into the house to read . . .

I have gone to the library recently, though — and that was to buy books! The library in a neighboring town sponsors a Saturday book sale, and I got four quality paperbacks and a mass market paperback for $2.36! My boyfriend and I are both avid readers, so we went together to look for some different and maybe hard-to-find titles. I was crazy excited with what I got! So the library does come through for me in the end!

Musing Mondays: Alternative sources

Happy Monday! musing_mondays Here’s this week’s question:

Do you read any non-blogging book reviews? If so, where (newspaper, library, etc.)? Do you have any favourite sources you’d like to share?

While blog book reviews are my major sources of information on new and old releases, I do use other sources from time to time! Usually I’ll check out the reviews on LibraryThing before picking up a book myself or adding it to my wishlist on BookMooch. It’s actually become a bit frightening for me to realize I will very rarely buy/borrow a book without reading some review of it first! I check out book reviews in People magazine, too — they usually review the new and major releases in a variety of genres. Entertainment Weekly used to have decent book reviews, too, though I must confess I haven’t flipped through that magazine in a while!

Musing Mondays: Marking my place

Monday again! musing_mondays Here’s this week’s question:

What do you use to mark your place while reading? Do you have a definite preference? Do you use bookmarks, paper, or (gasp) turn down the pages? If you use bookmarks, do you have a favourite one?

I’m pretty obsessive-compulsive about my bookmarks, as I am with most things! Firstly, I never, ever dog-ear the pages — I hate that! Sometimes I give my sister permission to turn down the page if we’re both reading the same book so she can put her own bookmark in, but if I’m the only one reading it, you’ll never see me pulling that!

Like many devoted readers, I have a pretty big collection of bookmarks — but all of them are the cheap, freebie ones! I do have one or two nice ones, like a hand-painted bookmark I got in San Gimignano, Italy. But since I’m constantly jamming them in the pages and the books are getting kicked around on my floor, jammed in a purse or otherwise jostled, I usually stick with my paper ones! I have a particular Borders bookmark a bookseller gave me years and years ago — long before I ever worked there — and I’ve kept it all this time. It’s the perfect size — not too long, not too short — and it’s appropriately creased where I like bookmarks to be creased.

And if you didn’t think I was a little bizarre and OCD before, you do now! 🙂 Happy Monday, everyone!

Musing Mondays: Local browsing

Happy Monday! musing_mondaysHere’s this week’s question:

How do you choose what do buy from your local bookstore? Do you have a list, or just browse? What is the selection in your bookstore like? Do you find what you’re looking for? Do you feel pressured to buy the kind of books the store makes prominent?

I’ll be honest and say that I usually don’t buy too much at my local bookstore. When I worked there and had my awesome employee discount, of course I bought books and CDs… all the time. To the point that I worried I wasn’t actually making any money there! But now I’m very selective about what I purchase.

Since I joined BookMooch, my first line of action is to look and see if a book I want is something I can mooch from another member. If the odds look slim, I’ll put it on a mental list as something to buy from my local bookstore — when I have a coupon! I do love to browse in the store, and often go in with one particular title to look for, but usually wind up checking out the covers and new releases for books I would like to… mooch. It’s just a giant circle!

When I go into my bookstore with a certain title in mind, I usually find it — especially since I know how to work my way through the inventory system. And my boyfriend works there. I wouldn’t say I feel “pressured” to buy the books my store makes prominent on displays, but I do take an interest in them — which is exactly the plan! And I’ve found some cool titles there that I probably wouldn’t have discovered on my own.

Overall, it’s just fun being in a bookstore — there’s a buzz and a vibe there. Even if their books aren’t the “cheapest” — and they’re not, of course — there’s an energy to an actual bookstore that online retailers can’t exactly replicate. And against my better judgement (and my massive TBR stack that haunts me, night and day) I usually wind up bringing something home. Hey, they have all those bargain books at the front! I’m only so strong!

Musing Mondays: On loan

musing_mondaysHere’s this week’s question:

A few weeks back we had a question about borrowing books, this week I was wondering what your policy was on lending books. Do you lend books to anyone? Just friends? Only big readers? How long are they allowed to have them?

I’ll be honest here — I have a really hard time lending out my books. It’s not that I’m really possessive of them, persay, but I guess I’m… really possessive of them! My problem is just that when you let folks borrow them, you rarely get them back — or you rarely get them back in the same condition. With some books, that would probably be okay: I let my friends and coworkers borrow them when I’m finished with them, have no intention of re-reading them and know they’ll enjoy them. But if I haven’t yet read the book or I’m concerned about whether I’ll see it again, I’m really not happy about letting them be borrowed.

In the past, I’ve loaned books to friends, fellow students and coworkers — and I’ve gotten some back! Some I haven’t, but that’s okay. I guess if they’re out in the world being enjoyed by someone else, I should be happy. I’ve never put a time limit on the loans, though I have hinted that I’d like them back after a month or two. It’s a very sensitive operation!

Musing Mondays: Down for the count

musing_mondaysQuite a cold Monday in Maryland! Here’s this week’s question:

How does your being sick (or injured) affect your reading? Do you read more? Less? Do you pick out a different book than you had already planned? Do you have a “comfort book” that makes you feel better?

I was down with the flu myself two weekends ago, and let me tell you — I didn’t want to do anything. After the initial bouts of terrible nausea had passed and I was laying on the couch, totally inert and exhausted, I felt around a bit for the paperback I was reading at the time (Dear Neighbor, Drop Dead, in case you were wondering!). But I didn’t even have the energy to read my novel. So as a whole, I would have to say I read far less when I’m sick. Bad colds usually don’t keep me home, and when I’m majorly sick with a bug or other ailment, all I can do is stare at the television for hours and hours on end.

I don’t have a comfort book, or anything vaguely resembling that, but that’s a clever idea. I will say that if I’m really upset and just need to get my mind off things, I typically turn to one of the young adult books in my stack. Meg Cabot’s books always make me feel better.

Musing Mondays: Under diress

musing_mondaysIt’s Monday again! Here’s this week’s question:

How did you react to assigned reading when you were in school/university/college/etc.? How do you think on these books now? What book were you ‘forced’ to read when you where in school that you’ve since reread and loved?

I’ve always been an avid reader, and reading under “diress” wasn’t ever much of a problem for me! There were certainly times I had to pour through an entire book in an evening in order to get caught up, and I read my share of boring or strange books, but I never dreaded the act of forced reading itself! In fact, I always thought it was sort of fun — it gave me a chance to read books I wouldn’t normally pick up on my own. In high school, I was only reading young adult — and college, it was mostly literary and contemporary fiction. Would I have ever picked up something like Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to read on my own? Very doubtful!

I don’t generally re-read books, so there aren’t any that I remember reading in school and then looking back over years later. Books I didn’t fully understand about at the time that have since come to mean much more to me include Tan’s The Joy Luck Club, Bronte’s Jane Eyre and Wolfe’s The Right Stuff.